Gran Turismo Sport made waves during its unveiling at the Paris Games Week. It was immediately succeeded by the 13th Grand Turismo Awards night, which was held during the 2015 SEMA Show. The awards body recognized five vehicles, one from each category, as the best car of the year.
Experts like Hoonigan, Autoblog, Super Street, Bangshift and Truck Trend Network took charge in selecting the five best cars as contenders for this year’s GT Awards.
The contenders, which were selected from the thousands of vehicles exhibited in SEMA’s show this year, included the 1970 Dodge Charger for the Best Domestic category, the 1985 BMW 535i for the Best Euro category, 1973 Datsun 240Z for Best Import, the 1978 Ford Mustang Hard Top for the Best Hot Rod, and the 1968 Chevrolet C10 Pro-Touring for Best Truck.
However, there could only be one best car. The 1973 Datsun “Fugu Z” 240Z was selected by none other than Kazunori Yamauchi himself, who created the Gran Turismo video game series and currently acting as its producer.
Actor Sung Kang, who owned the Fugu Z, described the award as “surreal” and revealed that the Fugu Z build was initially just an idea that he and his car aficionado friends came up with as an experiment.
Kang, popular for his role in the Fast and Furious film franchise, teamed up with the Greddy Racing Team’s partners and Kenji Sumino to come up with a unique SEMA build for the 1973 Datsun 240Z.
The car was assembled using an NA RB26DE and a TRA Kyoto Pademo body kit. Kenji Sumino, who is the president of the Greddy Racing Team, said that this is the first time the team has finally bagged the Best in Show award from Gran Turismo.
He attributed his success to Sung Kang’s vision for the Fugu Z as well as to the planning and relentless effort from the entire crew and the contributions of their partners. Yamauchi himself revealed that Kang’s Fugu Z will be available as a playable car in the next Gran Turismo game headed for the PS4.